TADHack 2014 Madrid in Review

I’ve now been home from Madrid for a couple of days and have had a chance to reflect on TADHack 2014. TADHack was a must-see event for Mojo Lingo this year, and the reason is simple: it’s the only conference focused on connecting telecom service providers, developers and entrepreneurs. It does so with an ambition to grow the Real Time Communications Application Ecosystem. As RTC App Developers, it couldn’t be a better fit for us. We were not disappointed.

I have a few observations and reactions, in no particular order:

  • WebRTC was center-stage
  • In-network apps were still scarce

WebRTC center-stage

This probably shouldn’t surprise any readers of this blog, given the amount of attention WebRTC receives in general. However, what was surprising was its near ubiquity. The majority of the presentations used WebRTC in some way. And while a number of those (as is to be expected) were not very creative use-cases, there were a few that stood out. Ones that come to mind:

In-network apps still scarce

I was somewhat surprised at the relative lack of in-network apps. There were a few presentations that dealt with network services (monetizing hotspots, detecting fake cellular base stations, even using SIP to send currency transactions). But as far as I can tell, ours was the only one that aimed to install a service into the network that was delivering the calls. I’ll let the video do the explaining:

There’s a tremendous amount of new opportunity that appears when the app can see inside the carrier network, as was possible with the Fairwaves GSM base station. I think a future exists for monetizing a subscriber base that has nothing to do with paying for connectivity. Perhaps Fairwaves’ advantage will be working with a subscriber base that will never have had the concept of paying for basic connectivity. It will be interesting to see how they develop. Thanks to the Fairwaves team for the great opportunity to collaborate on this hack.

Thanks to GWOB for selecting us as the winners of their TADHack challenge!

Summary

I want to thank Alan Quayle and the entire team of TADHack for the tremendous job they did coordinating such a global event. Throughout the two days we saw presentations from around the world at the TADHack satellite locations in Pune, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Chicago, and of course Madrid. It all went off so smoothly, which is a testament both to Alan and to the ubiquity of bandwidth and communications possibilities. I hope to see everyone again next year!

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